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the spokesman for the democratic administration's position on foreign policy. and you know, colin powell, god bless him and says this will be the shame of his life, he was the one without made the case for going to war in iraq, you know, as the spokesman. i think this. what struck me was the administration has really handled this badly. i mean you don't send her up to the hill to meet with people unless you're going have some friendly meetings too. are you going to have some positive people come out and say claire mccaskill, they say how wonderful she is and at the same time what you have got to have is other people. where are the endorsers. i haven't heard from madeleine albright, hillary clinton. she just kind of out there by herself which may be a message. >> i will keep watching that one and everything else. >> mark shield, david brooks, thanks as always. and if you want even more, mark and david keep up the talk on the "doubleheader" recorded in our newsroom. that will be posted at the top of the "rundown" later tonight. >> warner: we'll be back shortly with a look at efforts to pinpoint
simes, president of the center for the national interest, a foreign policy think tank. and steven heydemann, a senior adviser for middle east initiatives at the united states institute of peace. he's worked with the syrian opposition on the challenges ahead once the assad regime falls. steve, to you first. what do you understand the situation on the ground to be right now in syria? >> we have seen in the past month a significant shift in the momentum of events on the ground. we have seen the opposition increase the effectiveness of its tactics. it has acquired weapons that have permitted it to challenge the regime much more effectively across a broad range of fronts ranging from the south of syria to damascus to the north, and we're seeing this reflected in the regime's response to the opposition including some of the activities surrounding movement of chemical weapons. we don't know exactly what's at stake but part of the speculation is that they're putting themselves into a position in which they could create a defensive zone if it turns out to they're unable to defend damascus
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